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Wandering Thoughts

Because sometimes hiding behind a pen and paper is the only way we can express our true thoughts and feelings

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kindness

The Weight of the World

Sunday = Picture dayGrowing up as a pastor’s child, I had what I would call an “interesting” childhood. Right from childhood, I knew I had to live up to being “The GOs only daughter“. The bar was already set much higher than it needed to be because of the family I was born into (I love them btw).  The bar was set so high, that I spent my childhood, teenage and early adult years trying to reach it. Everyone expected something from me and I couldn’t disappoint.

I didn’t get to do normal teenage things because “people would talk“.   I couldn’t be anything less than brilliant at school, and ultimately I had to be the epitome of all that was good and calm.  So, I lived by these unspoken rules laid out for me by the men and women I met at church, at school and anywhere in between. I grew up feeling as if I had the expectations of the world on my shoulders. I lived in a glass house and didn’t get to make mistakes.

PK Problems

I grew up the one people came to for advice (I enjoyed this though; a little too much I think lol!). For some reason, everyone assumed I was always good and as per pastor’s daughter, I was a “mini pastor”. I became a pro at hiding how I felt. I learnt to swallow all my emotions, my anger, hurt, confusion, etc. I swallowed it all. At the end of the day, I ended up knowing everyone, looking out for everyone, but being alone.

 

So many people carry the weight of expectations on them and end up alone because of it.

There is nothing wrong with being a role model, or being there for people, but like everything in life, there needs to be a balance. Many people never have the chance to develop this balance. They spend all their lives living up to expectation and being strong for others, while they silently suffer.  I hurt when I come across people like that because I have first-hand experience of how lonely and hurtful that life can be.

The truth is, I haven’t quite figured out how to balance living my life and being there for everyone. I still take on more than I should and get consumed by people and their emotions and I still internalize a lot. However, I have learnt some things along the way.

I have learnt that we are not perfect people and we need to be kind to ourselves.  I have learnt that you can only truly love others when you love yourself. I have learnt that beating yourself up for not living up to “standards” isn’t healthy. It can make you see yourself as not good enough. You are. be kind to yourself Most importantly, I have learnt that you cannot give when you are empty. Any help or advice you give when you are weak and empty is never a hundred percent.

At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with being the person who is always “there” for people. There is also nothing wrong with living up to certain standards. However, while you give yourself to others and while you live up to “standards“, remember that you too are human and the same kindness you extend to others you should extend to yourself.

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I Love You…

img-20160804-wa0000It’s 21:35 and as I am writing this my head is really blank, but I gave my word, and I have every intention of fulfilling it.

I wanted to write about love today. Why? Well, because it is important, it’s important to me and to a lot of people. But for some reason, I seem unable to articulate myself properly. So forgive me if this isn’t up to “par”.

Over the summer, I learnt something about myself. I learnt that I love to be loved. I’m sure this seems like a pretty obvious one, but I only realised it over the last few months.

I am one of the most antisocial social people I know. I don’t know how to explain it, but at the end of the day, I tend to come across as someone who is proud, doesn’t like people, shy or something like that, but really, I just don’t do too well with people. I have learnt to accept that part of me, and to be honest, most times I am fine with it.

What I am not fine with however, is the absence of love. I don’t need to be surrounded by people to be happy or content, in fact I find that when I am surrounded by people I usually get exhausted and frustrated. The thing I do need though, to be the best that I can be, is love.

I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Because when you think about it, we are all searching for love in one form or the other. We are all searching for someone to love us and show us we are special, and that’s okay. I believe we were created to love and to be loved, but this is a fallen world and so we don’t love as we should, but we all desire it.

In my opinion, we all work better when we have love. It’s something I think we fail to realise until we are surrounded by love and then away from it.

Like I said earlier, I believe we were all created for and to love. The Bible in 1 John 4:19 says “We love Him because He first loved us” I never really understood how that was a thing, I mean, I believed it, but I didn’t understand it, but today it hit me. Let me try and explain with a little story.

There is this woman that I love. I met her say five years ago and then after “friending” her on Facebook and not talking for like 4 years, I re-met her last year.

One of the first things she said to me when we met was, “I love you”. Ah, me being the Nigerian that I am, I was skeptical. I mean, who randomly loves someone they don’t know without wanting something in return?

But she did and she still does and I love her because she loves me. There is something about being loved by someone who doesn’t “know” you. Something about being loved in an unconditional manner that prompts you to love back. It comes with the knowledge that you didn’t do anything to deserve the love, the love isn’t based on what you can give, it’s just there…

I want to love like that, always. I’m still learning, but it is something I aspire to. Because there isn’t enough love in the world. We need it but we are too scared to give it. We don’t want to be hurt or to be taken advantage of. We don’t want to look like fools, so we hold back. But the thing is, we were made to love, and we do a disservice to ourselves and to God when we refuse to love the people around us. When we walk around with hate based on political views, tribes, race, religion etc.

Love conquers all things. It really does. If we had a little more pure, honest, genuine non-selfish love in the world, we wouldn’t have half the problems we have.

I know I need love to thrive and I know that a lot of people, weather they know it or not do to. So I have decided to love. Not because I want something in return, but because I been called to love and because I know a little act of love and kindness can go a long way in making someone’s life better.

So today, on this 14th day of December 2016, I challenge you to love. To love selflessly and unconditionally. Christmas is a celebration of love, so why not show a little love to someone.

Today, I am thankful for love. For everyone that has dared to love me. For everyone that has shown love in the midst of hate.

Above all else, I am thankful for the ultimate and unconditional love of my Heavenly Father, because the truth is, His love is the only love that can fully satisfy.

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p.s I apologise for the lateness of this post!

Image courtesy of Iyke Ibeh. You can find him on IG @iykeibeh

 

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